State Senate Democrats named State Sen. Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington) their new leader on Monday.
Setzler will succeed retiring State Sen. John Land (D-Manning) as minority leader. Meanwhile, State Sen. John Matthews of Orangeburg was named assistant minority leader. Setzler is a moderate Democrat who is able to continue representing heavily conservative Lexington County by portraying himself as a “caring conservative.”
He finished his 36th year in the Statehouse this year and defeated Republican Deedee Vaughters during last week’s general election by picking up 60 percent of the vote.
Senate Democrats will hold 18 Senate seats once the session begins in January— one fewer than they held last session. Republican Greg Hembree was able to win a seat held by retiring State Sen. Dick Elliot (D-North Myrtle Beach).